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SkillsUSA Guides Students’ Future Plans

I became involved in SkillsUSA my sophomore year. I would always stumble in on meetings in the drafting lab my freshman year because I had a drafting class. Watching these meetings, I began to think two things: one was “What is SkillsUSA?,” and the second was “How do I join?” I officially joined my sophomore year and after my first state conference in Omaha, I knew that SkillsUSA was the right thing for me.

In SkillsUSA I compete in two things: Technical Drafting and Prepared Speech. Technical drafting is a competition that tests the competitor's ability to take a part and turn it into blueprints that a manufacturer can use to rebuild the part.

Prepared Speech is exactly as it sounds. It is a five to seven minute speech about a theme of SkillsUSA. Examples of this theme are, “How does SkillsUSA live up to its motto?” or “How has SkillsUSA improved the workforce in the last 50 years?” My sophomore year I placed fourth in Technical Drafting and third in Prepared Speech. My junior year I took home the gold in Technical Drafting and placed fourth in Prepared Speech.

Because I took first in Technical Drafting, I was given the opportunity to go to the National Skills and Leadership Conference in Louisville, Kentucky. Overall, it was a blast! I met so many new people and got to experience a competition at the highest level in the nation. The competition itself was incredibly hard, but I pushed through and placed 31st in the nation. All of these amazing experiences, professional development, and being a State Officer have better prepared me for my future than just about anything else. When I graduate, I want to go to Central Community College in Hastings and participate in the Advanced Manufacturing and Design Technology program.

This is a program that teaches both Precision Machining and Drafting. When I graduate, I will receive an Associate's Degree in Advanced Manufacturing as well as a certificate in Drafting. SkillsUSA has already helped me become proficient at the drafting component of my college career. It also has helped my work ethic, grades and public speaking skills.

SkillsUSA is not only a competition but also an organization that helps people attain their dreams. My biggest piece of advice to any freshman is to join SkillsUSA and be one step closer to attaining your dream. If someone ever wants to join, they can always ask their local chapter. If there is not a local chapter but great interest in SkillsUSA, it is possible to start a new chapter in a high school or college. Go to to learn more. Additionally, every chapter loves involvement with the industry. Donations and sponsorships at the local or state level are widely accepted and greatly appreciated.

About the Author

Alex Kimnetz
Hastings High School '16
Alex is a senior at Hastings High School. He has been involved with SkillsUSA for two years. Last year, he competed with the SkillsUSA team from Hastings at Nationals, where he placed 31st in Technical Drafting.

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